Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 11:28 AM
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For the month of February, a number of bloggers are participating in a campaign to raise $5,000 for Oregon Food Bank. Please consider donating by clicking on the picture — please include the words Blog for Food in the tribute section so that the effectiveness of this campaign can be tracked.

Oregon’s unemployment rate has risen above 9% – nearly 2% above the national average – after remaining stable at 5.5% through the first half of 2008. In December alone, 10,000 jobs were lost in Oregon, leading to the highest one-month jump in unemployment ever recorded here. The state is facing job cuts from companies such as Boeing, Intel, Xerox, Daimler Trucks, Harry & David, Precision Castparts and Oregon Health Sciences Univeristy, among others. This list does not include small employers who have laid off workers or gone out of business due to the downturn. Construction, for example, has lost 4,500 jobs in the last year – nearly double what was expected.

The rise in unemployment means a corresponding rise in the need for assistance such as food stamps. In October, requests to the Oregon Department of Human Services for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families increased by 16 percent over the previous October, while food stamp applications rose by 13 percent. But the rise in unemployment also means a corresponding decrease in the tax revenue collected by the state. A severe budget shortage may soon begin to affect core services.

I know all of the statistics can be dry and dull. But this is becoming very serious and scary.

The Oregon Food Bank is the hub of a network of food banks that service all of Oregon and Clark County in Washington. OFB collect the food from farmers, retailers, individuals and government sources and redistributes it to 20 regional food banks, who in turn distribute the food to local food banks, soup kitchens, etc. For every dollar that is donated, OFB can collect and distribute 5 lbs of food. Even a tiny donation makes a huge difference.

Please consider helping out with a donation of any size if you are able. Or drop a can of food or two by your local food bank. If you are not able to do either, please consider donating your time as a volunteer to OFB (if you are in Portland) or to a local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter where ever you are located. With knitters in on this campaign, I know that $5,000 will be reached!

This post will remain sticky at the top for the month of February.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for helping.

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